Saturday, August 9, 2014

Exhausted, Scared and (Not Really) Alone

My conversation last night: 

Concerned friend:  You need to write a blog post.
Me:  I don't even know how anymore.
Concerned friend:  Yes you do.

And so here I am.  My first post in four months. I've thought about writing a few times. Many times I sat down to write and nothing would come out. It hasn't been the best of summers. Single mom stress and an unexpected kid crisis have gotten the best of me.

I've spent the past few weeks once again not sleeping well, chronic headaches, nauseous and constantly on the verge of tears. With all my years of yoga, health & fitness training and my time spent in self study and working with life coaches you'd think by now I'd have quite a toolbox of healthy stress relief measures at my disposal.

And I do. I just don't use them.

Instead I retreat into my shell. It's just me against the world. And since I don't know who I can trust I choose to trust no one.  Daily I'm reminded, and more often I remind myself, how scared and alone I am through it all.

Like a caged animal huddling in the corner I lash out and attack anyone who tries to help and comfort me. 

A few weeks ago a coworker returned from her vacation and gifted me with a jeweled anchor necklace. She told me she saw the anchor and thought of me because I'm the one that always anchors everyone together both at work and at home. I mean it when I tell her she's beautiful, the necklace is beautiful and the thought is beautiful.

But what I'm really thinking are anchors are the ones drowning on the bottom trying to keep everyone else afloat. I feel like I'm drowning here. I almost can't breathe I'm dropping so far down.

Who is going to save me? Oh yeah, no one.

Yet I continue on. Get up each morning, put a smile on my face, resist the urge to punch those who tell me how tired I look, try and make ends meet, and do what needs to be done to make sure everyone else is safe and healthy. 

Then this week two different people reminded me that I'm not alone and I need to take care of myself too. One was very nice and made me cry. The other yelled at me and made me cry. Since I didn't quite hear the message the first time I admit I needed the second one too.

One of my personal training clients is moving out of state. She has some unusual health issues that made her the kind of personal training client the other trainers didn't want and were afraid to train. But I love those challenges and we hit it off immediately. She made amazing progress and I'm crazy proud of her.

Before she left for her new home, she came in to the gym one last time. She had a box in her hand and she explained to me that during her time with the fire department she was part of a tradition. She
explained that fire fighters and other first responders will present one another with a gift to thank them for having their back in an emergency. 

When I opened the box I saw a shiny rescue knife. As I took it out of the box she told me, "you've had my back all this time. I want you to remember someone will always have your back too."

Someone will have my back? Really? I wonder who.

Then the phone call yesterday. Those closest to me know when something is wrong. They know when I'm struggling and when I'm not asking for help. They also know I sometimes need tough love. Some words were exchanged. I cried.  I finally admitted I'm exhausted and afraid. 

And here I am now. I've spent most of the day feeling sick. But I think it's more just wore out than regular sickness. 

As directed by my friend I finally wrote a blog post. And tomorrow if I feel better I will go to my first led yoga class in a couple months. It's entirely possible I'll spend most of the class in child's pose crying. And that's OK.

I've been receiving email reminders for a couple weeks now asking me to once again participate in a series of writing prompts that my fellow writer friends use to keep up with their daily writing practice. Day One's prompt is Set An Intention.

So here I go. My intention, no my need, is to stop drowning myself. To remember I have those willing to help if I would just ask. And to recognize those who do love and care about me and stop pushing them away, but rather hold on to them and not let go.

This post is part of #AugustMoon, a series of daily writing prompts found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.


  1. Not drowning, waving.
    I see such strength in your words, Jennifer. It's there, even if you can't see it or feel it.
    Go gently and cry for as long as you need to in that child pose.
    You got this, beautiful. You really do.
    And the Universe is sending your tribe forward to remind you that, even though it mightn't feel like it, you are never truly alone. x

  2. A wonderful post to start off. I hope the next month is fruitful for you writing-wise!

  3. Blessings to you, Jennifer. My heart goes out to you in your distress. Remember, though, that large bodies of water can cradle and support us - the way our mother's amniotic sac did - as well as having the capacity for drowning us. Alienora

  4. "But what I'm really thinking are anchors are the ones drowning on the bottom trying to keep everyone else afloat." - Beautiful. Such a poignant observation.

  5. So glad you found your way to post. And may you always remember to ask for help.